But weddings are also work. No one know this better than our performers. It being engagement season and all, a time of year when brides and grooms are planning and GigMasters members are booking, we're here to give you more wedding booking and gigging tips to help keep you busy this upcoming wedding season.
Today's wedding advice comes from Tim Adkins of the long-running variety band Trilogy (Lincoln Park, MI). These guys are no strangers to wedding gigs. The band, originally formed in 1988 with Tim joining in 1992, has played hundreds of weddings all over the Midwest. Their overwhelmingly positive client feedback proves that they are doing something right.
Here are a few of Tim's tips:
The secret to wedding gigs
"Listening closely to ensure you understand exactly what the client is requesting, then delivering that exact expectation verbatim on their wedding day. There is no room for second guessing your clients thinking or exhibiting any inflexibility."
The customer is always right. Right?
Actually, while it's important to always let the client feel that you have the "customer is always right" attitude, there is at least one instance where you may need to hold your ground: song selection.
"At any cost, I would highly recommend never letting your client choose every song or the order in which to perform them in. The band is the performance party builder expert, not the client.
Now I steer clients away from this by simply asking 'are there any songs you don’t want played and any you must have played?' Then I build the sets with this in mind. If we need to learn songs I try to limit the number to three or four.
At the end of the day, the band is the professional and we don’t want to see your reception flop."
How to Get the Gig
"To get a wedding in the first place you need to have a few things in place: You need the proper price point for the level of wedding client you are after and the proper music for those weddings."
For Tim and Trilogy, this means flexibility in pricing. They offer a number of different packages in almost an a la carte fashion. They can provide both ceremony and reception music as well as dj and emcee services, lighting and more.
"Clients like choices and options, so we have packages for different budget ranges. It gives the client choices to achieve what see in their vision of their wedding.
You will need uplifting music, ballads and a ton of dance tunes new and old. Wedding clients like variety and the more the merrier."
One of the most unique wedding requests Trilogy has received: "You've Lost that Loving Feeling as the bridal dance. The groomsmen & the groom had an entire skit worked up where they serenated the bride. It was hilarious!
Another time a bride was playing sax and the groom was singing on stage with the band. That was a fun one too."
"We have run into every type of nightmare load-in situation you can think of especially on travel weddings where you are not familiar with the venues. We once did a destination wedding five hours away: the stage was 1500 feet from the loading dock to the stage. Over ¼ mile pushing all of our gear up and down ramps only to find at the dance area there were 12 steps it had to be carried up to the stage. We were so exhausted we barely made it to the end of the gig."
Sounds fun, right?
But seriously, while weddings have their own share of obstacles, they sure can be fun. And of course they can be extremely rewarding, both financially and otherwise.
Have any wedding booking/gigging tips of your own? Secrets are no fun. Leave a comment and share your wisdom. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas!